Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Romance Writer's Life - Installment Six - Plotter or Pantster?

There is no right way to write! Did you hear me? No matter what you hear, the most effective way to write is what's right for you!!

I've taken many classes and seminars and if I had listened to everything the instructors had to say, I'd be in a lock-down facility painting pretty flowers on a green lawn. Plotter vs Panster?

I'm proud to say I'm a panster through and through. I tried to follow the rule of "outlining" the novel before writing. Sure, I can sketch out the briefs for the beginning, middle, and end. No problem. But then I was told, you must write a synopsis BEFORE you can write the novel? Huh?

I hate writing a synopsis! Is there any writer out there who loves them? I'd sure like to hear from you . . . and be sure to include why. If anyone responds to this, I'll just bet they are a plotter all the way!! And, that would be the most effective way for ya'all to write. :)

I tried writing a synopsis before the novel and I came up with something totally ridiculous. Then I heard, "Oh, but it's all right for your synopsis to change as your story develops." Okay, excuse me, but if that's the rule, why do I even have to write it first?

I love writing my story (or rather my character's story) and letting them tell me what happens next. That's when I am totally "in the zone" and pouring out the pages as fast as my fingers can type. I love it! I love when that happens. It's the biggest "high" I can think of, and it doesn't cause a headache afterward. LOL!

I used to belong to a women's online group that had subgroups for different interests. One of the groups was a writer's group. The members consisted mainly of poets, but we began to spin off into having some people write short stories. Each month I'd write a short story and I didn't have a clue what I was going to write. I'd start writing, and soon the story just flew from my fingertips. I still keep the majority of these on my personal writing site. (If you are interested: Click Here). Very few of the ladies had a clue how to write. Some didn't even know how to create dialogue. There were run-on sentences, POV switches, etc. but you know what? Most of them spun a really good story. This was a fun place to be and not have to worry about the "right" way to write.

My story "Hands of Time" which was published by Chicken Soup for the Soul came about when I was looking at my hands on the keyboard and envisioning my mother's hands. The words just began to spill. I didn't even revise the piece. I still like that story! You can check it out by clicking on the nonfiction link on my website and choosing the "Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrates Mothers" book. My story is the featured one from the book.

So, how about it? What kind of writer are you? And why? What do you dislike about the "rules" you've heard, and which ones do you adhere to?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Total pantser...and I think I just had a light-bulb moment. You said, "I love writing my story (or rather my character's story)..."

My bet, if you're a pantser, you write character-driven stories. I don't know why I never put that together before, lol.